A laid-off clothing designer fatally shot an executive at his former company outside the Empire State Building on Friday, setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world’s best-known landmarks.
New York City police responded about 9:03 a.m. ET to a report of multiple victims shot outside the Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue. Possibly two to seven people or more are reported shot. The crime is is reported to be related to a workplace violence incident, and the offender is reported to have been killed. Early on the gunman was reported to possibly be a young male/white subject, described by a witness at a “young boy.” He was later identified as a 53-year-old man.
Injuries range from minor to serious with two dead at the crime scene, near 5th Avenue and 34th Street.
Two crime scenes — one at 10 West 33rd Street and one near 5th and 34th Street.
A witness saw people lying in the streets and sidewalks. New York City police have reported that a total of ten people have been injured — not all necessarily gunshot wounds. Later it was confirmed that nine victims were shot.
Jeffrey Johnson, age 53, has been identified as the offender. A construction worker followed the suspect and alerted two police officers, who were on watch near the area. When police approached the suspect, the offender fired on the officers. Nine additional victims (two women and seven men) were grazed or hit during the exchange of gunfire between between police and the offender near 5th and 34th Street. Six victims were transported to Bellevue Hospital Center, and three victims were transported to NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital — affiliated with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and Cornell University’s Weill Medical College..
The workplace crime scene has been identified as Hazan Imports, a designer of women’s accessories located at 10 East 33rd Street. Johnson was layed off about one year ago. He first shot his boss — a 41-year-old man — in the head — during a dispute. The two killed are the offender and his intended victim. Some reported early on stated that the offender was fired yesterday.
The offender had a .45 caliber handgun. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has emphasized that the incident does not involve terrorism.
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Google Street view of 5th Avenue and 34th Street looking southwest toward the Empire State Building.
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